Almost 150 jobs are at risk after a Birmingham-based stationery firm with an 180-year heritage crashed into administration.
Hay Mills-based Osbornes Stationers instructed administrators from FRP Advisory to step in after facing intense trading competition from supermarkets and cut-price larger rivals.
The firm has 20 stores, mostly in the Midlands, and employs 140 staff.
It was founded as a printing business in Birmingham city centre in 1832 by Edward Corn Osborne.
Branches include bases in Bearwood, Cotteridge, Erdington, Great Barr, Harborne, Kings Heath, Sheldon, Shirley and Solihull.
FRP said a loyal customer base and the company’s reputation for quality had helped it trade through a hard retail environment since 2008 but it faced continued losses over the last couple of years.
Joint administrator Steve Stokes, a partner at FRP Advisory, said a “thorough sales process” would seek to secure the firm’s long-term future.
He added: “Osborne is one of the oldest local businesses in the Midlands.
“It has operated in Birmingham for just shy of two centuries, enjoying a tremendous amount of goodwill.
“Recently trading has been particularly hard, with Osbornes, like many other town centre retailers, suffering from further squeezes on consumers’ discretionary spending that has impacted the high street, as well as being in a particularly difficult sector.
“Anticipated cash flow problems have prompted the need for the directors to seek the protection of administration whilst the business is restructured and marketed for sale.”
Osborne also has stores in Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and single shops in Bristol, Tewkesbury, Worcester and Daventry.